In the news: defining poverty

At what level of daily income are people no longer living in poverty? Charles Kenny, a fellow at the Center for Global Development and the New America Foundation, took on that question this week in Businessweek. Right now, extreme poverty is defined as living on $1.25 a day or less, while poverty logs in at $2 a day or less. Both are too low, Kenny argues. You can find a link to his piece below.

Two doses of HPV vaccine may be as good as three

NBC News, April 30, 2013

Girl looks at camera while a needle is inserted into her arm.

A girl receives HPV vaccine in Uganda. Photo: PATH/Robin Biellik.

Two doses of the vaccine against human papilloma virus (HPV) may work just as well as the recommended three doses in protecting against infection, a new study from Canada suggests.

In the study, girls who received two doses of the HPV vaccine had just as good of an immune response to the vaccine as women who received three doses, even three years after vaccination. In studies of women, the HPV vaccine reduces the risk of developing early signs of cervical cancer and genital warts. At this time, women and girls should still get the recommended three doses over six months, because it’s too early to know the long-term results of getting only two, experts say.

Read the article.

“Cured of AIDS”? Not yet

The New York Times, April 29, 2013

What to make of all the recent “cured of AIDS” headlines? An American in Berlin, a baby in Mississippi, and 14 patients in France are all alive without treatment. Is a cure at hand?

No. But in unusual cases, some people seem able, with temporary help from antiretroviral drugs, to kill the virus before it can sink into reservoirs deep in their bodies—or to at least force it to stand at the doorways of their cells, unable to get in.

Read the article.

Why ending extreme poverty isn’t good enough

Businessweek, April 28, 2013

At this year’s spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF [International Monetary Fund], the world’s global finance ministers signed up to an ambitious target for progress against poverty. “We believe that we have a historic opportunity to end extreme poverty within a generation,” they declared, pledging to reduce the percentage of people living on less than $1.25 a day worldwide to 3 percent by 2030.

That would be a huge achievement. After all, for most of history, most of humanity has lived on less than $1.25 a day. As recently as 1990, more than two-fifths of the population of the developing world lived in extreme poverty, and even today, the proportion remains close to one-fifth. Yet even lifting all the world’s poor above the $1.25-a-day line would hardly constitute victory in the war against extreme poverty. If anything, we need to get a lot more ambitious.

Read the article.

A new life for a deadly disease

The New Yorker, April 25, 2013

You can hear it before you see it. Most of the time, it starts with a wracking cough. Damage to the lungs advances; if infection enters the bloodstream, it may spread throughout the body. Then the patient grows weak, and as the infection advances, the body seems to melt away. When the end comes, as it does for more than a million each year, death arrives like a train wreck of blood and phlegm and spit. It used to be called “consumption,” or “the White Death.” Don’t think of Camille, lounging in soft focus whilst romantically fading away. Tuberculosis is a ferocious killer.

Read the article.

Posted in Cervical cancer, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Vaccines and immunization | Permalink

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